Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Konami Sports Club, Otemachi

What do you look for in a restaurant, my friends? Is it good food? Service? Affordable prices? Attractive environment? Nice views? Sakura ebi? Today my good friend Volleyball (named, I promise, for his predilection for the sport and not the resemblance of his cranium to said object) introduced me to a charming little place that delivers a solid 3 out of those elements, and that's more than enough to get you through the hump of Wednesday lunch. It's all downhill after that.

Sports club dining, always a highlight...but the Konami Sports Club is well-placed, on the 25th floor of the 'Grancise' building (or Otemachi Nomura Building, if you're one of the people who may be surprised to find me recommending a restaurant above your very heads. Or did you all know already, and were you just cruelly keeping this from me?). This means it has the view element down cold - out across the palace, where I saw things I've never seen before, with an unimpeded horizon stretching from Roppongi's Mori Tower to far past Shinjuku. It's like a real skyline, which none of us could experience when working in Roppongi.

Affordable prices are the other element that KSC has got going on - Y1050 gets you unimpeded access to a fabulous view, and incidentally a main dish, salad bar, and drink bar (including herbal teas from Celestial Seasonings, very exciting to the Americans in the party, which was all of us). The food is OK, I guess - I mean, if they have sakura ebi on the menu in March, they're obviously making at least a little effort! [These little critters with an intense, fresh shrimpy taste (uh, 'cherry blossom shrimp') are seasonal and limited to a few weeks around now. In fact, I've been thinking periodically all winter about eating them.] The ebi themselves were limited to a garnish on the very ordinary spaghetti, but there was enough shrimpy, garlicky liquid to make the thing worthwhile. The salad bar was forgettable. The drinks...oh, there was Hi-C and Ginger Ale. These are rare things that also make me think of America...The herbal tea, as mentioned, was another twist. I drank two glasses of herb, and man was I messed up afterward.

Service: you order and pick up your food at the counter. You buss your own table.
Environment: bubble-style pastels, strange lack of tables, even stranger lack of customers means no problem for us to sit at the window (this is the spot in reviews where writers say something like "Grab one of the coveted window tables and settle in to enjoy the view", except that all the locals know you have to wait an hour to get a good table at the place they're writing about. Fortunately this isn't one of those places, at least on Wednesdays in mid-March).

Not a lot going on with those dimensions, but as mentioned, the view, cheap price and abundant, moderately tasty food more than make up for it!

Don't tell anyone else about this place, OK? It'll be our secret.
03-3516-2771 (the club desk)

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